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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C
trouble in the dome

Rose of Tralee stage invader was a ticket holder

The event’s organisers say they believe security at the Rose of Tralee is adequate.


THE MAN WHO invaded the stage last night at the Rose of Tralee was a ticket holder.

Questions have been raised as to the nature of security at the event after the man, later revealed to be Matt O’Connor, a 49-year-old campaigner for Fathers4Justice, walked on stage dressed as a priest during the Cavan Rose Lisa Reilly’s interview with host Dáithí Ó Sé.

“Organisers of the Rose of Tralee International Festival are satisfied that adequate security measures are in place in the Festival Dome,” the festival organisers said in a statement this morning.

The man, who had purchased a ticket, was immediately removed from the stage by security personnel before being taken away by gardaí.

The programme cut to a commercial break after the man’s encroachment on stage, but resumed shortly afterwards.

Fathers4Justice, who have carried out similar stunts over the years, took responsibility for the incident on Twitter shortly afterwards.

father Fathers4Justice Fathers4Justice

O’Connor’s walk on stage wasn’t the only controversial element of last night’s show.

Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins sailed her own interview into uncharted Rose-waters when she brought up the issue of the eighth amendment to the Constitution during her time on stage.

Generally speaking the Rose of Tralee prides itself on its apolitical nature, so any mention of an issue as divisive as the eighth amendment could be expected to stand out.

Parkins, who works as a journalist with ABC in Australia, spoke about a range of women’s issues during her onstage piece, including cuts to domestic violence charities.

“I think it’s time to give women a say over their reproductive rights,” she told Dáithí Ó Sé.

I would love to see a referendum on the eighth amendment come up soon. That would be my dream.

Read: Mrs Brown’s Boys voted best British sitcom of the century

Read: This is the funniest joke of the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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